prester


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prester

(ˈprɛstə)
n
1. (European Myth & Legend) (in mythology) a venomous serpent
2. (Physical Geography) a blazing whirlwind
3. (Anatomy) a vein at the back of the human neck
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
Beyond that again is the kingdom of Prester John and of the great Cham.
What mind, that is not wholly barbarous and uncultured, can find pleasure in reading of how a great tower full of knights sails away across the sea like a ship with a fair wind, and will be to-night in Lombardy and to-morrow morning in the land of Prester John of the Indies, or some other that Ptolemy never described nor Marco Polo saw?
Its tales of the Ethiopian Prester John, of diamonds that by proper care can be made to grow, of trees whose fruit is an odd sort of lambs, and a hundred other equally remarkable phenomena, are narrated with skilful verisimilitude and still strongly hold the reader's interest, even if they no longer command belief.
Nobody ever asks after you--neither man nor woman; and if I mention your name in company, the men look as if I had spoken of Prester John; and the women sneer covertly.
I have it from my husband, who is a cinquantenier**, at the Parloir-aux Bourgeois, and who was this morning comparing the Flemish ambassadors with those of Prester John and the Emperor of Trebizond, who came from Mesopotamia to Paris, under the last king, and who wore rings in their ears."
The title captures the personality of Webbe and the character of his account: The Rare and Most Wonderfull Things which Edward Webbe an Englishman borne, hath seene and passed in his troublesome trauailes, in the cities of Jerusalem, Damasko, Bethlem and Galely: and in the lands of Iewrie, Egypt, Grecia, Russia, and Prester Iohn.
Like many medieval Europeans, Henry was compelled by the hope of finding the Christian Kingdom of Prester John, supposedly located `somewhere in the East'.
Some years later, in 1520, Father Francisco Alvares, together with a Portuguese embassy, went to the 'lands of Prester John' (Abyssinia), and later recounted his journey.
In the 15th century, the European Crusaders viewed Abyssinia, as Ethiopia was then called, as the mysterious kingdom of the legendary Prester John, a Chrisitian king who was a potential ally against Islam.
Among other familiar ones are William Tell, Prester John, the Man in the Moon, Saint Patrick's purgatory, the piper of Hameln, swan-maidens, and Theophilus.
Greek and Russian Orthodoxy receive scant consideration under "Moscovia." In his consideration of Africa, caught between the disproportionate prevalence of "Mohammadism" (i.e., Islam) and the pervasiveness of Gentilism, especially interesting are his allusions to the Portuguese reaching out to the Grand Negus of Abyssinia, whom he associates with the followers of the mythical figure of Prester John.